Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Hilltop: A Literary Paper. Volume 1 Number 2

Hubert Witheford

Hubert Witheford

I Tempest

On this ravined plateau
The snow winds vastly race
Across their barren fields
From sky to empty sky.

Beneath their path not tree
Nor flower of earth attempts
To break the spell wherein
Annihilation rests.

Through their huge dreamless cry
No voice of grief or hop
But a strange unrippled stream
Flows on and on

And one sings from the storm
To one within the heart—
Your home is here, you were never
Far from its crags and gulfs.

Thus does the traveler,
Chosen in tempest, know
The green years stripped from the walls
Of chaos rising sheer.

page 17

2 Afternoon

Low clouds and autumn sun
Fade wanly by above,
Over this day and over
The grey shore that sustains
The steady foaming of the mind's salt waves.

Here turn uneasily
The debris of a life,
Portents and relics and strange garlands torn
From caverns in whose depth
Pale childhood twines with death

It will be long before
The sea's resentment shakes
No more about this place,
Till the drowned hair of memory stir
On the wave no more.

Sometime the moon to an impassive sea
Its form of fire my yield;
Here the incessant images
Dissolve and shape themselves
In the discoloured foam.

Long, long, the night must be
Of clear and distant stars
Above these restless fields
Where the great ploughshare and tempestuous horses
Of fear and hope have been.

3 At the Cavern Mouth

About the silence of the cavern mouth
The briar-roses and the green pines grow
The water trickles down across the stones
Under the early sun the small streams shine.

This glistening world that all five senses praise
Holds deep within its side the ancient wound,
And fruit of unimaginable fire
Ripen in gentleness upon its bough.

While light slants through the rags of mist that hang
Down from the mountain-side and lace the trees
Stillness and glory, brown and green are poised
Like a wild bird upon a forest top.

Nor comes upon them yet the reed-like voice,
Bringer of dissolution and renewal.
The whistling words through distant passage-ways
Rise slowly to their utterance on earth
Towards the cave whose mossy sides await
The sceptred spirit born amid the flames.